King Liang and Liu Yao were swiftly informed of this, and they quickly went forward to take a look.
As they squinted suspiciously in the direction of the billowing black waves, their expressions flickered.
“Its the rebel army! Prepare for battle!”
They had no idea why they would run into the rebel army here.
This place wasn\'t that far away from Lushui Commandery, but it definitely couldnt be considered close either, with several other commanderies in between.
Why did this rebel army suddenly appear here
Were the guards of all the other commanderies blind!
Liu Yaos first instinct was to retreat, but the commanders under him disagreed strongly.
“General, you cannot withdraw now! The rebel army is closing in on us, and they have a large contingent of cavalry.
We wont be able to escape even if we try to run now.
Instead, our formation will collapse, and well be easily hunted down and killed!”
“Indeed, we might as well face them head on! Even though this rebel army is large, their individual strength cannot compare to those of our elite imperial guards.
We just need to hold out until news of this reaches the nearby commanderies and they send in reinforcements.
We might even be able to earn substantial merit from this!”
The Imperial Guard was made up of the empires strongest elites.
There was no lack of experienced soldiers, and they immediately worked to dissuade Liu Yao.
Liu Yao was at his wits end as well.
He quickly solicited the advice of King Liang, who was next to him.
“Respected king, what do you think we should do”
King Liang was a master level cultivator, after all, so he was more composed.
“Get into formation and face the enemy!”
“Get into formation! Get into formation!” Liu Yao finally snapped out of his daze and began to holler out orders.
The Imperial Guard rushed out in front of the carriages and covered wagons.
Raising their shields, they pointed their spears towards the incoming rebel army.
King Liang flew into midair.
Two spheres of light quickly coalesced in front of him, and he hurled them straight down into the rebel army.
Two loud explosions erupted.
Men and horses were thrown up into the air.
However, the rebel army was legion, and this small setback did little to disrupt their forward momentum.
King Liang quickly condensed two more spheres of light and hurled them downwards again.
He kept up his barrage, throwing sphere after sphere.
The rebel army finally began to dissolve into chaos, not just because of the formidable power of those spheres of light, but also because the continuous explosions had begun to disrupt their formations.
The soldiers in the back ranks were so focused on their forward charge that they could not avoid running into the men and horses that had been thrown to the ground ahead of them.
Rank after rank of the rebel army crumbled.
Zu An was completely stupefied.
King Liang was like a bomber aircraft all on his own! An air force could do whatever they wanted against mere ground troops.
A thin transparent barrier appeared above the rebel army.
They had their own formation technique as well! Even though it wasnt as sturdy as the Red Cloak Armys barrier, they had their advantage of numbers, and they barely managed to handle King Liangs bombardment.
Liu Yao snorted when he saw this.
He drew his own blade and rushed forward to help.
A forty meter long blade of ki crashed down onto the rebel armys barrier.
Together with the force of King Liangs bombardment, the rebel armys barrier immediately grew unstable.
At that moment, someone burst forth from the rebel army and flew into the sky.
He smashed apart King Liangs ki blade with his fist, and intercepted King Liangs attacks at the same time.
The two sides exchanged blows, then backed away.
“Renegade Lu Sanyuan, I didnt expect you to come personally!” King Liangs expression was rather ugly.
Even though both of them had backed up quite a bit and they seemed evenly matched, his opponent had neutralized Liu Yao\'s attack before fending off King Liangs own fist.
His opponents strength was clearly above his own.
“Lu Sanyuan” Zu An froze when he heard this unfamiliar name, clearly confused.
Sang Hong offered an explanation.
“He is the leader of the rebel army in Lushui Commandery.
The imperial court sent out armies several times to take him down, but every attempt has ended in defeat.
Now that I am seeing him with my own eyes, I can tell that his cultivation truly is tremendous.
No wonder the imperial courts efforts all came to naught.”
Zu An vaguely recalled hearing about this person before in Brightmoon City.
They had portrayed him as a flesh-eating demon king in human form, yet the one flying in midair was a middle-aged man with refined features.
Together with his graceful long hair, he looked more like a reclusive expert who paid no heed to worldly affairs, instead of some rebel army leader.
“So, it seems that theres nothing special about the renowned King Liang.
I will spare your life if you agree to bow down and serve me.
Otherwise, this day next year will be the anniversary of your death.” Lu Sanyuan stood in midair with his hands behind him, his entire being exuding a feeling of contempt.
King Liang could not afford to lose any prestige in front of everyone.
He braced himself and roared, “Hmph! In my opinion, today is the day you will be beheaded!”
“Preposterous!” Lu Sanyuans expression turned cold.
He flew towards King Liang like a roc spreading its wings.
The clouds behind him seemed to change color, and a black fog began to roil behind him, taking the form of a giant, devilish face.
King Liangs expression flickered.
His hands spread outwards, and a translucent barrier surrounded him like an eggshell.
The two of them crashed into each other, and King Liang was quickly swallowed up by the black fog.
Liu Yao tried his best to get away, but was swallowed up by the roiling blackness as well.
Lu Sanyuan clearly didnt want him to assist his troops in the battle against the rebel army below.
The three of them tangled in the air in a fierce back-and-forth.
Even though King Liang and Liu Yao were working together, Lu Sanyuan didnt seem to be at a disadvantage at all.
On the contrary, he was the one on the offensive.
Black fog shrouded the sky, the figures of King Liang and Liu Yao only peeking out from time to time.
They seemed like two small boats caught in a surging, stormy sea, tiny craft that might capsize at any time.
Zu An couldnt help but ask Huang Huihong, “Why arent you guys helping them That imperial edict thing you brought out last time seemed pretty kickass.
Summon that again and beat up this Lu Sanyuan!”
Huang Huihong didnt move a muscle.
“King Liang and the Guard General are enough to hold him off.”
Zu An sighed.
“Are you betraying your teammates” he said.
Huang Huihong chose not to reply.
Instead, he gave a dismissive sniff and pointedly ignored Zu An.
The rebel army had already reached them.
The Imperial Guards defensive formation took a huge toll on the rebel armys vanguard.
Large numbers of corpses hung from their spears.
However, the numbers of the rebel army seemed limitless, and each of them looked as though they had been injected with some sort of stimulants.
Their eyes were completely bloodshot, and they yelled and screamed as they trampled over the corpses of their comrades.
It didnt take long for both sides to become thoroughly enmeshed together.
The Imperial Guard tried to maintain their formations in small groups, but they were unable to hold back the endless torrent of rebel army soldiers.
With Liu Yao occupied, the battle quickly descended into a disorganized mass of one-on-one battles without any unified command.
Huang Huihong thrashed at the nearby rebel army soldiers with his Soul-reaping Chains.
He and the other Embroidered Guard served as the last defensive line, surrounding Zu An and the other prisoners.
Not many rebel army soldiers were able to get near them, however, because they were at the very center of the formation.
Even so, Huang Huihong had a rather ugly expression on his face.
He could sense that the rebel army was about to mount a large-scale charge sooner or later.
“Commander, what should we do” One of his Embroidered Envoy soldiers asked in panic.
Huang Huihong scanned the battlefield, then said in a low voice, “Lets withdraw to a safer place first.”
Zu An couldnt help but blurt out, “Doesnt this count as deserting”
“Shut your mouth!” Huang Huihong said with an angry huff.
“My first priority is to escort all of you safely to the capital.
Sang Hong spoke up as well.
“Commander Huang, why dont you undo our seals I am a court official, and I can offer some little assistance against the rebel army.
I have family members in the capital, so you dont need to worry that I would use this chance to escape.”
“Indeed, Lord Sang is an eighth ranked cultivator, after all.
He will surely be able to affect the tide of battle,” a different embroidered envoy said to Huang Huihong.
Clearly, the current situation had left them all a little jittery.
“Absolutely not!” Huang Huihong rejected this proposal immediately.
He wasnt about to take any unnecessary risks.
With that, he led the two carriages off in a different direction.
They would be safe as long as they could reach the closest commandery.
Troops would be transferred to assist them as well.
A detachment from the rebel army broke off and immediately gave chase.
However, some of the Imperial Guard cut them off.
The Imperial Guard clearly understood their mission as well.
If something happened to Zu An and the others, there was no way for them to escape death even if they somehow managed to make it through this battle safely.
Huang Huihongs group used this chance to flee into the nearby forest.
Seeing that they had left the battlefield behind, all of them released a sigh of relief.
Right at that moment, however, several sharp swords suddenly thrust out from the ground, hacking at the lower half of the embroidered envoys bodies with incredible precision.